The International Mobility and Trade Corridor Program

Passenger Intercept Surveys


IMTC participants have identified the need to periodically evaluate trip details of passenger vehicle travelers crossing at the five Cascade Gateway ports-of-entry (including Point Roberts/Boundary Bay most recently). These surveys help inform regional investment strategies, and provide insight into travel trends.

2018/2019 Passenger Intercept Surveys

Status: Data collection complete; data cleansing and reporting underway

This study conducted surveys of cross-border passenger vehicles at four land ports-of-entry between Western Washington State and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia – commonly referred to as the Cascade Gateway. The project was advanced by the International Mobility and Trade Corridor Program (IMTC) and is the fourth such survey undertaken by this regional cross-border planning coalition. Surveys have been conducted roughly every five years, in 2000, in 2007/2008, and 2013/2014.

The project comprised of two seasons of surveying, summer and winter, completed in July 2018 and February 2019, respectively, to compare winter traffic patterns with those of summer patterns. A completed survey database will be available upon request.

Surveys were conducted at the four Cascade Gateway Ports-of-Entry — Peace Arch/Douglas, Pacific Highway, Lynden/Aldergrove, and Sumas/Abbotsford-Huntingdon.

The main objective of the survey was to update regional travel characteristics with current trip purpose, origin-destination, and other traveler information, and to compare these data with results from previous years. Quality data on trip purpose, travel patterns, and demographics is an important part of transportation system planning and used to explain reasons for changes in demand, identify emerging needs for reallocation of resources and targeted investments, and revealing opportunities for system optimization.

In addition to these general purposes the 2018/2019 survey also collected information relating to the efficacy of border wait time signage and the use of GPS and app/website data for routing decisions by travelers.


A full report is pending. Current analyses and summer data sets are available online or in the data section.



Funding & Partnerships

This project was a priority of all regional agencies involved in IMTC. Funding was provided by the agencies listed below. Critical permissions, cooperative facilitation, and baseline traffic data were provided by U.S. Customs & Border Protection and Canada Border Services Agency.

2013/2014 Passenger Intercept Surveys

Status: Completed in 2014

This study conducted surveys at the four Cascade Gateway Ports-of-Entry — Peace Arch/Douglas, Pacific Highway, Lynden/Aldergrove, and Sumas/Abbotsford-Huntingdon — as well as Pt. Roberts/Boundary Bay.

In addition to general questions asked in all prior and subsequent surveys, the 2013/2014 effort collected information relating to strategies for promoting the NEXUS trusted traveler program; strategies to promote other radio frequency identification programs (like Enhanced Drivers Licenses); an assessment of traveler usage of the real-time border information systems in place; and an assessment of changing attitudes about cross-border travel.


The full report of the 2013/14 surveys is available, summarizing both the summer and winter wave data collected and comparisons with prior years. A complete database is available through WCOG.



Funding & Partnerships

2008 Passenger Intercept Survey

Status: Completed in 2008

The Whatcom Council of Governments, in partnership with the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University, conducted a passenger intercept survey at all Cascade Gateway ports-of-entry in the summer of 2007 and fall of 2008 to update to data collected in 2000 and to measure impacts of recent changes in border operations. Data includes information about crossing demographics, behaviors, and perceptions of cross-border initiatives.

Surveys were administered at all four Cascade Gateway ports-of-entry, including Peace Arch/Douglas, Pacific Highway, Lynden/Aldergrove, and Sumas/Abbotsford-Huntingdon.


Summer season surveys were administered in July of 2007 and Winter surveys were done in February 2008 (to collect baseline February traffic patterns prior to the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, BC.) Coverage included weekdays and weekend days in both directions at all four ports-of-entry between 7:00am and 9:00pm. A complete survey database is available as well as a report summarizing observed changes and trends.



Funding & Partnerships

This project was funded by:

Equipment was provided by B.C. Ministry of Transportation and the City of Blaine; support at the ports-of-entry was provided by U.S. Customs & Border Protection and Canada Border Services Agency.

2000 Trade and Travel Study

Status: Completed in 2001

The IMTC Cross-Border Trade and Travel Study was a response to the need identified by IMTC participants for better data regarding the four ports-of-entry which make up the Cascade Gateway between Whatcom County, Washington and British Columbia.

Surveys were conducted at all four Cascade Gateway ports-of-entry including Peace Arch/Douglas, Pacific Highway, Lynden/Aldergrove, and Sumas/Abbotsford-Huntingdon.

Previous data collected on the Cascade Gateway revealed little about commodity flow, intermodal opportunities, or the potential sustainability of new transportation options. To close these gaps, updated and detailed information was collected in the summer and fall of 2000 to analyze cross-border traffic volumes, origin and destination of trips, commercial commodity flow, and passenger trip purpose.


The final report analyzes who crosses the border and what drives demand; time of day characteristics of cross-border travel; the potential for diverting traffic to alternative modes of travel as well as to other crossings; and the markets for pre-approved travel programs to improve cross-border security and mobility.



Funding & Partnerships

This project was funded by:

For More Information

Contact Hugh Conroy, Director of Planning, at (360) 685-8384.